“No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come.”
Watching coverage on CNN about the amazing events in Egypt, it is impossible not to ponder the enormous power that the Internet has played in this incredible moment in history. And yet, it’s words and ideas that are the currency of cyberspace — and so it is words that have been heard round the world and words that have gathered the power to topple a government.
One commentator pointed out that ordinarily, orchestrating massive demonstrations of the types that have take place in “Liberation Square” would have required months and months of meticulous planning by expert organizers. But what is happening in Egypt has happened in a matter of days and weeks — and the coming together of many of the people who’ve been involved has been spontaneous rather than planned.
Then there is the small group of young people who have waged a brilliant campaign on Facebook and Twitter, baffling and frustrating those who sought to keep them apart and under control. Amazing to think of a handful of people virtually creating a revolution in real time and actually succeeding.
Seeing the square in Egypt tonight on TV, I was struck by the outpouring, the torrent of words, that poured out of some of the people who were interviewed. It’s as if their words and ideas had been dammed up and then suddenly released. In a world where so much that’s just happened has been technology driven, it’s so important to remember that in the end, it’s about the hardwired, heartfelt need that we all have to communicate: to speak and be listened to, to have our words heard and understood. “Only connect!” That’s what E.M. Forster said in Howards End. Egypt speaks in liberation’s tongue tonight and all the world is listening.